TT #6 By: Paige
Using Picture Books to Address Racism with Dr. Althier Lazar
Dr. Althier Lazar
How can we improve teaching of racism?
First and Foremost, teachers must learn as much as they can about race starting with how it is socially and historically constructed. Some ways teachers can do this is by reading book and listening to lectures (suggestions: Derrick Bell, Tim Wise). Along with teachers becoming aware of the issue, parents should become aware of the subject as well the teachers so that they can support the teachers in the subject as well as answer student questions.
Another suggestion is allowing professional development funds to be used on teacher discussions on how to teach racism. The principal and administration should be in agreement on how teachers introduce racism and having teach discussions can further teachers knowledge of the subject as well as establish unity in how the topic is being taught.
Dr. Althier Lazar believes that the ways that racism is talked about in children's literature could make a big difference on how children think of the issue. She raises the question, "Do teachers have a say in critical issues being taught?" Lazar believes literacy is a good way to teach the issue given that students can connect to the reading and empathize with the characters.
Lazar strongly believes that creating a teacher education program with social equity focus including a course that addresses race would be a big start to changing the system!
Chocolate Me! By: Taye Diggs
A young boy who is teased and questioned about being different (“chocolate me”) wishes for different skin, hair and a different nose, but his mother helps him see himself in a special way and to love what he sees when he looks in the mirror.
The Skin I'm In By: Michael Tyler
This rhyming poem celebrates the diversity in our skin and all the things we do in our skin: “… the skin you have fun in; the skin that you run in; the skin that you hop, skip and jump in the sun in ….”
The Colors of Us By: Karen Katz
Lena’s mother is teaching her about mixing colors and takes Lena on a tour of the neighborhood to see all the different shades of brown that make up the skin colors of their friends, family, and neighbors.